To the Editor:
In response to Doug Davison‘s letter [Thursday, Oct. 21], “Keep Wilton Beautiful, with Better Housing Development that Isn’t Hulking and Ugly,” I would like to draw attention to the fact that virtually every major development proposal in Wilton involves a site located along the two-lane portion of Route 7, which is far and away the least “scenic” part of town.
[The development at] 141 Danbury Rd. would not be sticking a giant new apartment building in the middle of some picturesque residential neighborhood; its neighbors would include an office building, a hardware store, a self-storage facility and an imposing set of power lines. [The one at] 24 Danbury Rd. has a shopping plaza with a giant parking lot to its south, a semiconductor equipment factory to its north, and a mix of architecturally unremarkable retail buildings in between; the 2-24 Pimpewaug Road project, which he celebrates the demise of, would have been located on a blighted property across from a sawmill.
It’s also worth reflecting on what a magnificent opportunity Route 7 represents for Wilton; unlike, say, Weston, we have a major commercial thoroughfare running through town, but unlike the coastal towns, we only have one such road and aren’t also cut up by the Merritt or 95 or a four-track railroad line. By fully exploiting the development potential of Route 7 — busy and wide and convenient to everything, but also safely tucked into one little corner of town — we can gain a larger and more diverse population, a greater property tax base, and more customers for our local businesses, and yet still maintain all of Wilton’s current charm and character.
I have no problem with the Architecture Review Board and Planning and Zoning keeping developers honest — there’s certainly no reason to accept a “pointlessly” ugly or disruptive building when, with just a little bit of pushback, we can get a much better one. But opposing development simply based on its size/scale, in a portion of Wilton that can easily accommodate more large buildings, seems like a recipe for higher taxes and long-term decline.